Dallas Hangover: How Jerry Jones' Drunken Mishap Impacts the NFL

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer IApril 15, 2010

DALLAS - DECEMBER 16:  Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys watches his team fall to the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter at Texas Stadium December 16, 2007 in Dallas, Texas.  The Eagles won 10-6.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Most people call alcohol "liquid courage" because it gives them the unusual ability to approach attractive people of the opposite sex without a second thought.

Others, and now Jerry Jones, know alcohol for its more general ability to allow what we wouldn’t ordinarily say to seep through the mental filters.

What might have been, for you and I, just an incidental slip of a silent distaste became a mind-numbing PR nightmare for Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys.

There are the obvious ramifications that directly relate to the words that slurred out of Jones’ mouth.

If he would bring in Parcells simply to help raise the necessary funds for Dallas Spaceship, what kind of relationship does he really have with his head coaches? A coach with the esteem and respect of Parcells was nothing more than a pre-game shot of whiskey. He got things headed in the right direction.

But what about the terrible example this sets for the players on his roster?

Jones is no stranger to a locker room divided. His 2008 Dallas Cowboys were a mish-mash of too many big characters. With all the work that’s gone into overhauling that problem, the dismissals of Terrell Owens, Adam Jones, and Tank Johnson, could this be a step in the wrong direction?

Moreover, what about league-wide repercussions?

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has become notorious as a stickler for the rules, especially when it comes to the players. Although he has punished coaches in the past (see "Spygate, Belichick"), he has punished far more athletes.

Sure, there were no legal issues that came from Jones' loose lips, but Goodell needs to remember that he's enforcing anything that damages or threatens the integrity of the NFL.

Goodell needs to come down on Jones to continue to set the precedent in the NFL league-wide: players and front office personnel alike.

If he doesn’t, the entire Cowboys roster will get the idea that it’s okay for them to pull similar stunts. More importantly, the perception will grow of the NFL as an "owner’s league," where management is pardoned for their mistakes while players suffer harsh consequences.

A lack of action by Goodell could further open the riff between the owners and players. With a lockout on the distant horizon, Goodell doesn’t have time to wait. He needs to act swiftly to get this ship steered back in the right direction.

Needless to say, both Jones and Goodell need some time to let the hangover wear off before they try to clean up the drunken mess that Jones has made.

What would have been just another Tuesday night on the town for you or me was obviously much more than that for Jones.